These two multi-channel retailers found that mobile store locators get feet in stores and dollars in the cash register.
RadioShack launched its mobile site in 2011, streamlining it to make it easier for shoppers to quickly find products and services. It includes a mobile, touch-optimized store locator with click-to-call and GPS functionality. After its launch, the retailer found the average order value increased by 30 percent.
An analysis of four months' worth of data completed by RadioShack with Mindshare, its agency, found that 36 percent of clicks were on its store locator page. Based on internal data, they estimated that 40 to 60 percent of clicks on its store locator resulted in visits to a physical store. Of those who did shop at a store, 85 percent made a purchase.
Before this study, RadioShack had only tracked conversion on its mobile site; it didn't have great visibility into how mobile search affected in-store sales. "It wasn't a good way to capture the whole conversion process and how users are interacting. The study was trying to follow the customer through the whole experience," says Lisa Little, RadioShack search marketing manager.
In a similar analysis, shoe retailer Adidas worked with its agency, iProspect, to estimate the value of each store locator click on its mobile website. Like RadioShack, Adidas and iProspect had tracked only direct mobile purchases. Hypothetically, for a mobile investment worth $1 million, and based on Adidas' mobile commerce conversion rate and average mobile order value, this would mean a return on investment of $230,000.
To fine-tune mobile to-store conversions, iProspect used location extensions in search ads, to direct users to the store locator page to help drive in-store traffic.
Based on internal benchmarks, iProspect theorized that one out of every five people who visited the mobile site store locator page went into an Adidas store, while approximately 13 percent of shoppers in stores complete a purchase, with an average order value of $71.
Figuring that an active search usually demonstrates stronger intent to purchase, iProspect applied a 20 percent conversion rate and an $80 average order value, determining that 4 percent of those who clicked on a store locator actually bought something in-store. That means that each store locator click should be worth $3.20.
According to iProspect, based on these calculations, for a hypothetical mobile investment of $1 million, in-store sales from store locator clicks adds an extra $1.58 million beyond direct mobile purchases.
Google, with its big footprint in mobile and local advertising, initiated the two studies and is showcasing resulting case studies on its blogs. Google helped facilitate the two studies and also helped with some of the number-crunching.
Says Little, "Google knew that we were really interested in increasing our mobile efforts and measuring our mobile conversion differently. They brought us a study they wanted us to help be part of."
Both RadioShack and Adidas already are making use of the data. Gordon Lanpher, director of e-commerce at Adidas America, says, "Being able to attach ROI to our mobile retail spend has enabled us to not only understand the value of the channel but also increase and optimize our programs."
And Little says, "We have been placing so much importance on mobile and local advertising, looking at how we can impact local stores with SEM and online shopping. Now, we're looking at mobile metrics differently. Before, we just looked at conversion. Now, we're looking at a 360-degree view of all the metrics and trying to understand the intent.
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Susan Kuchinskas has covered interactive advertising since its invention. The former staff writer for Adweek, Business 2.0, and M-Business covers technology, business and culture from Berkeley, CA.
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